Women in Media Uniting to Bridge the Confidence Gap

While the issue of women in tech is widely discussed, another area, which would not patently be the topic for the gender discussion, is women in media. The Australian Business Review uncovers the role of women in the media market and highlights an important factor – confidence factor – determining gender balance in media, which can, actually, be defining women’s advancement in any area women are engaged in. Read the full article here.

Increasing Boardroom Diversity to Improve Productivity: Singapore Example

An encouraging piece of news on a growing recognition of diversity as a driver of productivity. A great step forward towards ensuring gender inclusion in the boardroom. To read the article click here.

Women’s leadership: How to close the gender gap in Asia

Asian Development Bank had an interview with Dr. Astrid Tuminez to discuss the issue of women’s leadership in Asia and the ways to improve the advancement of women in high-levels of management. Read the interview here.

WPLA marks International Women’s Day 2015

This year to mark the International Women’s Day, WPLA in collaboration with the LKYSPP Bridging Gender and Policy Group partnered with the leading tech companies to host a panel discussion. The event was widely attended by the students, staff and members of the public.

Photo Courtesy of Bridging GAP Group

The panel discussion focused on “Women Leaders in Technology: Why We Do What We Do?” and featured a panel of four remarkable women leaders from such tech companies as Microsoft, HP, Twitter and ConneXionsAsia.

  • Amelia Agrawal, Regional Director of OEM Marketing, Microsoft
  • Elizabeth Hernandez, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Asia Pacific & Japan, HP
  • Frederique Covington, International Marketing Director, Twitter
  • Rosaline Chow Koo, Founder and CEO, ConneXionsAsia

Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez was the moderator of the discussion.

The panelists shared their unique personal stories of how they achieved career success in the technology sector and the challenges they encountered along the way, whether the work-life balance is a myth, and how they contributed to the success of their companies.

One of the takeaways of the event relates to the risk women associate with the career in tech: “Are women less risk-taking, therefore less attracted to high-stakes tech industry? There is a steep learning curve that requires some confidence to take, not just in tech. Mentors need to convey to girls that it’s important to take risks.”


Photo Courtesy of Bridging GAP Group


15 Women That Are Changing The World in 2015

Students take part during the “One Billion Rising” dance campaign at all-girls school St Scholastica college in Manila

Photo Courtesy of World Economic Forum


In anticipation of International Women’s Day 2015 World Economic Forum shares the stories of 15 women changing the world in 2015. Read on the stories of these remarkable bright women to get inspired to work harder towards achieving your goals and creating gender-inclusive environment: https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/03/15-women-changing-the-world-in-2015/?utm_content=buffer5c0ba&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer. 




Citigroup Executive on the Role of Institutions as Equalizers of Opportunities

Zeger van der Wal and Michael Zink 

Under the broad title ‘‘Can Institutions be an Equalizer of Opportunities?” Michael Zink, Singapore Country Officer for Citigroup, began his lecture at the LKY School of Public Policy on April 2nd, 2013.  He started by giving a brief introduction of the banking and financial operations of Citi in Asia and also shared how the network has expanded from three generations in the region, emphasizing on how Citi uses leadership to enhance the role of women in organisations, not only in Asia, but also in other parts of the world. Currently, 54% of Citi workforce is made of women. His leadership focuses on the development of staff to strengthen their role in the important hubs and centers, ensuring that women are given equal chance without underestimating their capabilities across different levels of the organisation. He also stressed that one in five women in executive positions.

Learning to develop talent across to the organisation has enabled Citi to recruit and retain talented professionals. For him, it is critically important to have equal opportunities plans and a clear succession plan, based on meritocracy, skills and competency.

Why Care For Women?

Quoting McKinsey’s report, Mr. Zink said that ‘‘When women have influence on top of the house the institution performs better’’. Today’s organisations are made of young men and women who can make choices and decisions. Gender diversity is now often used as the reason why major firms have done better, especially if  more women are involved. Although, increasing women’s numbers in an organisation is not necessary the definition of women emancipation, this contributes to a leadership that celebrates diversity. He cited few examples of capable women leaders who currently holds important positions in Citi and how their performance is linked to specific characteristics women are known to possess (e.g. attention to details, etc.) that are critical to any organisation.

Women and Globalization

Mr. Zink explained that there is an emergence of a whole new set of companies from the G20 countries, whose ambition is to follow the same path as Citi. Most leaders have recognized that including women in executive positions reduce the risk and challenges found in the business world. However, the big challenge is that, according to McKinsey, organisations lose women leadership along the way especially from mid-to-senior management levels and even more at the – at thesenior level Citi has addressed this challenge creating an atmosphere of empowerment for women and encouraging them to rise to higher positions. Empowering is an act that is consistently tied to hiring, retaining and promoting women. Citi has succeeded in doing this by providing a whole range of modern working practices, such as flexi-time, telecommuting, job-sharing, mentoring, and 2 skills building programs for women. Setting clear and gender sensitive hiring goals and programs have recently increased the chances of getting into leadership roles.

Most of the participants shared their views on how women do not work towards fulfilling their aspirations for open senior positions because they lack self-confidence. According to him, once women are empowered, they are able to drive change and make system-changing decisions such as the ability to use different approaches to get the buying of great ideas which may not have been the case if driven by men. Mr. Zink concluded by saying that the main way to address this challenge is to create opportunities for women at every stage of their career, a system which has worked well at Citi.


Post courtesy of Hortence Baho, Master in Public Policy Candidate at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.